Tag Archives: parenting

How Fostering Has Changed Me

Standard

We have been on this wonderful journey of being foster parents for almost 3 months now. I can honestly say that it has already changed my life in so many ways. It has opened my eyes to so many things and opened my heart to so much more. Here are a few ways being a foster parent has changed my world:

  1. My eyes have been opened to the need. When we first started talking/praying about becoming foster parents, we didn’t realize how many children are in care. Especially in our area, there are about 900 kids that stay in the foster care system on average. There are only about 100 foster homes. That means that A LOT of kids are having to go to the Children’s Shelter, sleep in DHS offices, and get put in to overloaded foster homes. I’m so thankful God pointed us in this direction. When I think that we only have 2 out of those 900 kids, it doesn’t seem like much. But, thankfully they aren’t somewhere dangerous and we have the opportunity to give them a safe, warm, loving home. If more people would see the NEED and actually answer the call, God would faithfully provide the strength. I’m praying more people realize this.
  2. I see what I could’ve been. I’ve always felt strongly that if the Lord didn’t save me when He did, my life would be a wretched mess or I’d be dead. I know the Lord graciously rescued me from the damage that sin could’ve brought upon my life.  When I see and hear what our babies’ bio moms are doing with their lives, I think “That could’ve been me”. I could’ve so easily ended up in the same situation had it not been the Lord breaking me down and saving my soul when He did. Fostering has taught me to have compassion on these women, because I see what I could’ve been in them. And, I see that all they need is God. I pray that, somehow, I can show them Him.
  3. I’ve gotten stronger. Not physically (well, maybe a little from carrying around a couple of 12 lb. babies). But, I’ve gotten stronger in the Lord. I’ve found my source of strength is in Him and I’ve had to tap into that more than a few times. When I think I just can’t do this anymore and I can’t face whatever lies ahead,  the Lord gives me a verse or a song or a sermon, and it just carries me through. There is nothing easy about being a foster parent and that has become more obvious to me in recent days. So, that’s why I’m really thankful for this verse from 2 Corinthians 12:9: “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. ” So very true.
  4. I pray more. This is kind of a given. There’s a bajillon more things to pray about now that we’ve added a couple of sweet babies to our life. In the middle of the night, when one of them isn’t feeling well, I’m crying out to the Lord to touch their little body. I pray for upcoming court hearings, doctor appointments, visits with mom, etc. Sometimes, my heart hurts and I just cry with no words. However it comes out, there’s definitely an increase in my prayer life since becoming a foster parent.
  5. I’m becoming more patient. Well, this is still a work in progress. But, I feel like I’m doing much better! There is just so much waiting that comes with fostering. Waiting for the next court hearing, waiting to hear from caseworkers, waiting…waiting…waiting… I’ve never liked waiting for anything and it is still difficult for me at times. But, the Lord is helping me day by day. I never asked for patience, but I guess the Lord thought I needed more of it! He’s definitely teaching me patience through this experience.
  6. I’ve had to get out of my head. This one has been the hardest change for me. I’m such a planner and try to figure everything out on my own. I don’t like it when I don’t know what is going on. When I don’t have a plan, I start thinking of all the ways things could go wrong. I think up all the worst scenarios and end up feeling really down and out of control. It’s something I’ve had to work on for a long time because it does cause me to not completely trust in God. I foolishly think that I know best and try to work out my own plans. I’m constantly having to remind myself that “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).” In my heart, I know the Lord has a perfect plan for my life, but my head wants to know that plan right now. This past Sunday, my pastor preached a sermon that really hit home. He used this scripture in 2 Chronicles 20:17, “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you”.  One of things that he said was, “Stop trying to fight this battle on your own. Get out of the way. Be still. Let God work.” I had been trying so hard to figure things out on my own. When you are foster parent, you sometimes forget that these kids aren’t “yours”. Sometimes we start planning vacations, birthdays, holidays, etc. Then I think, we may not still have them then. And, I get a little depressed. My pastor’s sermon was a reminder that God has this all under control. I don’t need to jump ahead of Him. I just need to be still and let Him work in His way and time.

 

All in all, I feel like being a foster parent has changed me for the better. It has grown my relationship with the Lord and taught me things about myself. One thing that I’ll always be thankful for throughout this whole process, is that God does not change. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. We can always count on Him.

 

Blessings,

Emily

Advertisements

The Better Coat

Standard

“Delight thyself also in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalm 37:4

In 2012, this Scripture really came to light for me. I was having a discussion with my friend about this verse and she was telling me how the Lord was wanting to know the true desires of her heart- spiritual, emotional, physical- all of it. That really stuck with me and I began thinking about my desires. Not just my wants, or what I’d like to attain some day. But the deep, personal desires in the depths of my heart. I spent a lot of time praying, thinking and examining my heart to see what those desires were. This was very serious to me and I did not take it lightly at all. After much contemplation, I realized what my longings were. Along with some spiritual, personal desires, I had the longing to be a mother. Some way, somehow, I wanted to be a mom and I let the Lord know that. Little did I know, that this verse and my desire would lead me on the journey that I’m on now. But, it was not an easy process.

Once I discovered my desires, I began to question what it means to “delight” in the Lord. I asked my parents, googled the meaning of “delight”, searched the scriptures, and even tried to look up “how to delight in the Lord”. Silliness had me thinking it was a quick answer and then I would magically receive my deepest desires. Like if I rubbed the bottle the right way, the genie would pop out and grant me three wishes. This went on for months as I struggled with what “delighting in the Lord” means. Months went on and I was still not a mother. I started to become frustrated with the Lord. I knew I loved God and tried to serve Him to the best of my abilities. So, I couldn’t understand why my desires were not being fulfilled. I became desperate. I became broken. I became helpless. And that’s when I found myself at the feet of my Savior. That’s when I discovered true delight in my Love.

There’s no way for me to really tell you what it means to delight yourself in the Lord than with this analogy. Imagine you have a coat. You’ve had it for a while, but now it has some holes and it’s dirty. You’ve been through a lot and that coat has always been there to keep you warm. It’s your comfort zone. It makes you feel safe. You love this coat & you love the idea of it. You love imagining yourself in it years from now and how it’s still keeping you warm in your safe little life. Then the Lord comes along and offers you a brand new coat. It’s clean, your favorite color and has no holes. But, there’s one requirement. You have to take off your old dingy coat, completely forsake it, and put on the Lord’s brand new one. That’s tough. You’ve never seen this coat before. You don’t know if it will keep you warm the same way the old one does. Yet, the Lord lovingly presses you to take what He is offering. At first, you’re very hesitant. You say, “It’s ok, Lord, I’m happy with what I have.” You spend time with the Lord from a distance because you just aren’t sure about that new coat He has. After awhile though, you start to find that coat a little more appealing. Maybe your coat isn’t all that great. So, you start spending more time with God and this new coat, while still wearing your old one, of course. You begin to see that the Lord’s coat does seem a lot better. The dirty one with holes doesn’t seem as appealing now as the new one that your Best Friend is trying to give you. So, you finally make that decision. In reckless abandonment, you take off your old, stinky, dirty coat that has comforted you for so long. And, in confidence you put on the Lord’s brand new coat He’s holding out for you. And, guess what? It feels a million times better and you don’t even remember what that old coat looked like.

That’s what delighting in the Lord is to me- abandoning everything that I’ve clung to for so long and plunging into the depths of what the Heavenly Father has for me. The more I’ve spent with the Lord, the more the desires of my heart have changed. Yes, the Lord granted the longing of my heart to be a mother. It was not in the way that I first envisioned. I clung to the idea, that old coat, of how I thought my life should play out for so long. Then, in brokenness, I finally gave it all up to God and He fulfilled my desires above and beyond what I could’ve ever asked for.

One thing I learned on my journey of delighting in the Lord- He will never disappoint you. He longs to go on your journey with you. He wants you to discover Him. He delights in you. The desire of His heart is for you to know Him.

So, trust me when I say, take off that old coat. It’s not worth hanging onto. The Lord has a much better one. You just have to take it.

Blessings,

Emily

What Foster Parents Need to Know About “Inside Out”

Standard

If you haven’t seen the movie, “Inside Out”, I highly recommend that you watch it! It’s a very cute movie for kids, yet it has some deep messages about feelings, memories and emotions that parents (especially foster parents) can relate to. I found a review from a fellow foster parent on her blog “Foster2Forever” and recommend you read it. She describes it perfectly!

 

Check it out here: 

http://foster2forever.com/2015/06/inside-out-movie-review.html

 

 

Blessings, 

Emily